In Hungary the volume of trade has increased steadily for sixty-nine consecutive months, this is unique in the region, László György, Minister of State for Economic Strategy and Regulation at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology said on Monday on the public service television news channel M1 in response to retail figures published by the Central Statistical Office on Monday.

In March the turnover of retail outlets increased by 4.9 per cent on a year-to-year basis; calendar effects discounted, primarily due to the effects of Easter, the increase reached 5.9 per cent. In the first quarter, the volume of retail was 6.5 per cent higher than during last year’s corresponding period.

The Minister of State said the consumption of foodstuffs did not increase significantly, pharmaceutical sales decreased compared with last March, while the consumption of non-food-type products, fuel and consumer durables expanded markedly.

This shows that since 2015 the population has been steadily making up for consumption deferred due to the crisis before 2010.

Mr György said the world economy has entered a new era of economic development, this is also reflected in the rise in online shopping. He pointed out that while online shopping usually increases by 20 to 25 per cent monthly, this increase reached 35 per cent in March.

Regarding the rise in housing construction, the Minister of State highlighted that this year 22,000 to 24,000 new homes will be built in Hungary.

Production projects are key to quality of life; last year the investment rate was above 25 per cent in Hungary. Production capacity constitutes the basis of consumption, while the increase in housing construction projects shows that families also spend their earnings in this segment, he added.